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Clarkston - Beaches, Bike Routes, Parks, Trails, and More





During the summer, Clarkston welcomes music lovers from all over, who come for concerts at the DTE Energy Music Theatre. The city also has two famous restaurants, the Clarkston Union and the Union Woodshop, which were featured on Food Network's Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

There are several nice parks in the area, as well as trails and bike routes for outdoor enjoyment.

DTE Energy Music Theatre

Originally known as Pine Knob, DTE Energy Music Theatre is a summertime destination for music lovers. The outdoor ampitheatre hosts the biggest names in music and is a great place to see a concert. The 15,274 seat venue is owned by Palace Sports and Entertainment. DTE Energy Music Theatre is located at 7774 Sashabaw Road in Clarkston. See the DTE Energy Music Theatre web site for upcoming concert information.

Clarkston Union and Union Woodshop

During an episode of Food Network's Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, Kid Rock gave host Guy Fieri a tour of his favorite places to eat in Clarkston, the Clarkston Union and Union Woodshop. Guy Fieri sampled the "mackinest" mac 'n cheese of the Clarkston Union and enjoyed the hot links and ice cream of the Union Woodshop.

When you visit Clarkston, it's definitely worth the trip downtown to eat at the two restaurants.

The Clarkston Union (pictured below) is located in a renovated church, and the restaurant has salads, burgers, sandwiches, and specialty offerings, with lots of brews on tap.

The Union Woodshop has a cool atmosphere with hand-crafted meats, like pulled pork and hot dogs. You'll want to stick around for dessert and enjoy some ice cream or a deep-fried Twinkie.

Clarkston Area Parks

  • Clintonwood Park is a large recreational complex on Clarkston Road. The park has seven ball diamonds that are used by little league and adult recreation teams. Area soccer teams use the four fields at the center of the park. Clintonwood Park also has a picnic shelter, tennis courts, sand volleyball courts, basketball courts, and an ice rink. Kids enjoy the sprayground and playground at the park. An unpaved walking path winds around half of the park.

  • Deer Lake Beach is on the east side of Deer Lake, near White Lake Road. Its small sandy swimming beach is popular during the summer, and you must pay an admission fee to use the beach. Near the parking area, there is a boat launch on Deer Lake.

  • Depot Park is a pie-shaped park near Clarkston City Hall. The park is a relaxing spot with a gazebo and large playground. A paved path goes through the park to the sidewalk on Main Street.

  • Independence Oaks County Park is very nice park that's north of Clarkston, along Sashabaw Road. It's a great place for family reunions and gatherings, with several picnic shelters that have playgrounds and other facilities nearby. A swimming beach on a small lake (pictured below) is at the south end of the park. Boaters and fishermen can use Crooked Lake, which is a large lake at the center of the park. A boat launch for small boats is on Crooked Lake. The park also has small boats and paddle boats to rend. Independence Oaks County Park has nearly 12 miles of paved and unpaved trails.



  • Sashabaw Plains Park is east of Sashabaw Road on Maybee Road. The park has four soccer fields, two ball diamonds, a basketball court, and a volleyball court. Kids like the park's playground, which is not far from a picnic shelter and horseshoe pits.

  • Pontiac Lake Recreation Area is a few miles southwest of Clarkston. The state recreation area has miles of trails, a large sandy beach, fishing piers, picnic areas, campgrounds, and other facilities to enjoy. See the Pontiac Lake Recreation Area section for more details.

Recreational Trails

There are miles of paved paths along city streets for biking, jogging, and walking in the Clarkston area. The most popular paths are located along Clarkston Road, Maybee Road, Sashabaw Road, Waldon Road, and US-24/Dixie Highway.

A paved trail winds through Depot Park near downtown. The path connects to a trail that leads to White Lake Road.

Independence Oaks County Park has nearly 12 miles of paved and grass/dirt trails. The paved trail system is very popular, especially during the summer. You may want to bring along some insect repellent if you use the hiking trails through the woods.

Clintonwood Park has a walking path that winds around half of the park, past the ball diamonds and near the soccer fields.

Clarkston - Ortonville Bike Route

Cyclists can ride between Ortonville and Clarkston by using the paved shoulder along Ortonville Road/M-15. From Clarkston, cyclists will want to use the paved trail on the east side of the road to get across I-75. The route is a little over 9 miles long, one way.

When riding next to the road, be sure to stay alert and obey traffic laws.

Boating and Kayaking

There are a few lakes in the Clarkston area where you can go motor-boating or paddling.

Deer Lake is west of downtown Clarkston and has a boat launch on the east side of the lake, near the parking area for Deer Lake Beach. The boat launch has gravel surface and includes a short dock.

At Independence Oaks County Park, there is a boat launch on Crooked Lake that can be used by small boats, canoes, and kayaks. Crooked Lake is over a mile long and is mostly bordered by trees. The park requires admission for entrance.

Pontiac Lake Recreation Area has a concrete boat launch on Pontiac Lake. The lake is regularly used by watercraft, fishing boats, and recreational boats during the summer.

More About Clarkston

Clarkston Heritage Museum is located in Independence Township Library at 6495 Clarkston Road. The museum has a collection of vintage objects, photos, and documents that help tell the story of Clarkston. The museum is maintained by the Clarkston Community Historical Society.

In addition to the Clarkston Union and the Union Woodshop, the Clarkston area has lots of restaurants to choose from. In downtown, The Old Village Cafe has been serving customers on Main Street since 1995. The Dairy Queen on Main Street is a great place for ice cream in the summer. On Dixie Highway/US-24, there are lots of choices, including Mr. B's Roadhouse, Red Knapp's American Grill, McDonald's, Burger King, Q'doba Mexican Grill, and Outback Steakhouse. On Sashabaw Road, you'll find Culver's, Dairy Dream, Dunkin Donuts, Hamlin Pub, Leo's Coney Island, Jimmy John's, Taco Bell, and Wendy's.







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